2252 112th CONGRESS
H. R. 2252
To protect the right to obtain firearms for
security, and to use firearms in defense of self, family, or home, and to provide
for the enforcement of such right.IN THE HOUSE OF REPRESENTATIVES
Mr. BARTLETT (for himself, Mr. SIMPSON, Mr. POSEY, Mr.
BURTON of Indiana, Mr. LATTA, Mr. CALVERT, Mr. HALL, Mr. DUNCAN of Tennessee,
Mr. MARCHANT, Mr. MICA, Mr. MCCOTTER, Mr. ROSS of Florida, Mrs. MILLER of Michigan,
Mr. FORBES, Mr. BROOKS, Mr. GINGREY of Georgia, Mr. FLORES, Mr. FRANKS of Arizona,
and Mrs. SCHMIDT) introduced the following bill; which was referred to the Committee
on the Judiciary
To protect the
right to obtain firearms for security, and to use firearms in defense of self,
family, or home, and to provide for the enforcement of such right.
Be it enacted by the Senate and House of Representatives of the United States
of America in Congress assembled,
SECTION 1. SHORT TITLE.
This Act may be cited as the `Citizens' Self-Defense Act of 2011'.
The Congress finds the following:
(1) Police cannot protect, and are not legally liable for failing to protect,
individual citizens, as evidenced by the following:
(A) The courts have consistently ruled that the police do not have an obligation
to protect individuals, only the public in general. For example, in Warren v.
District of Columbia Metropolitan Police Department, 444 A.2d 1 (D.C. App. 1981),
the court stated: `[C]ourts have without exception concluded that when a municipality
or other governmental entity undertakes to furnish police services, it assumes
a duty only to the public at large and not to individual members of the community.'.
(B) Former Florida Attorney General Jim Smith told Florida legislators that police
responded to only 200,000 of 700,000 calls for help to Dade County authorities.
(C) The United States Department of Justice found that, in 1989, there were 168,881
crimes of violence for which police had not responded within 1 hour.
(2) Citizens frequently must use firearms to defend themselves, as evidenced by
(A) Every year, more than 2,400,000
people in the United States use a gun to defend themselves against criminals--or
more than 6,500 people a day. This means that, each year, firearms are used 60
times more often to protect the lives of honest citizens than to take lives.
(B) Of the 2,400,000 self-defense cases, more than 192,000 are by women defending
themselves against sexual abuse.
(C) Of the
2,400,000 times citizens use their guns to defend themselves every year, 92 percent
merely brandish their gun or fire a warning shot to scare off their attackers.
Less than 8 percent of the time, does a citizen kill or wound his or her attacker.
(3) Law-abiding citizens, seeking only to provide for their families' defense,
are routinely prosecuted for brandishing or using a firearm in self-defense. For
(A) In 2001, a grand jury had to rule on
the case of 2 brothers that used firearms to protect their lives and their livelihood
for their involvement in a fatal shooting in Reisterstown, Maryland. The grand
jury decided not to press criminal charges. The brothers, at the time, had encountered
several burglaries at their concrete business. The brothers spent the night in
their warehouse armed with shotguns. One night at 1:00 in the morning the burglars
returned and the brothers shot and killed 1 burglar and injured 2 of the others.
The 2 injured men were charged with burglary and 2 others were charged with burglary
in connection with burglaries that had occurred in a previous month at the brother's
warehouse. Burglary is known to be a violent crime and the brothers were particularly
worried when they realized a gun of theirs had been stolen in a previous break-in.
(B) In 2008, a Waukegan, Illinois, store clerk shot and injured a robber. According
to news reports, there was potential the clerk could face criminal charges, even
though he acted in self-defense. The store clerk did not have a firearm owner's
identification card and would be charged with a State firearms violation. Additionally,
Illinois law does not allow employees to carry a gun in a place of business. Rather,
the law only allows individuals to carry a gun in a place of business if that
individual is the owner or has proprietary interest.
(C) In September 2009, a Lithonia homeowner from Dekalb County, Georgia, was charged
with aggravated assault after he shot someone who was trying to knock down the
door of his home as an attempt to break into the residence. According to the neighbors,
there had been trouble in the neighborhood before. A police spokesperson said
the homeowner was charged because the robber was technically not inside the home.
The suspected robber was charged with attempted burglary.
(D) In January 2004, Wilmette, Illinois, police charged and convicted a homeowner
with misdemeanors for owning 2 handguns and violating the village handgun ban
ordinance. The homeowner was also faced with a potential $750 fine for failing
to renew his Illinois firearm owner's identification card. These charges were
brought after he shot a home intruder. The resident stated, `My Plan A is to call
911 and keep the family upstairs . . . But my Plan B is to have a loaded firearm
and put a bullet in the intruder.' The intruder entered the house 2 times, once
through a dog door and the second time with a stolen house key. The homeowner
had just put his children to bed when his security system was set off. The homeowner
went downstairs and confronted and shot the intruder. The intruder jumped through
a window and stole the family's car to go to the hospital. The intruder was charged
with 2 counts of residential burglary and 1 count of possession of a stolen vehicle.
(4) The courts have granted immunity from prosecution to police officers who use
firearms in the line of duty. Similarly, law-abiding citizens who use firearms
to protect themselves, their families, and their homes against violent felons
should not be subject to lawsuits by the violent felons who sought to victimize
SEC. 3. RIGHT TO OBTAIN FIREARMS FOR SECURITY, AND TO
USE FIREARMS IN DEFENSE OF SELF, FAMILY, OR HOME; ENFORCEMENT.
(a) Reaffirmation of Right- A person not prohibited from receiving a firearm by
section 922(g) of title 18, United States Code, shall have the right to obtain
firearms for security, and to use firearms--
(1) in defense
of self or family against a reasonably perceived threat of imminent and unlawful
infliction of serious bodily injury;
(2) in defense of
self or family in the course of the commission by another person of a violent
felony against the person or a member of the person's family; and
(3) in defense of the person's home in the course of the commission of a felony
by another person.
(b) Firearm Defined- As used in subsection
(a), the term `firearm' means--
(1) a shotgun (as defined
in section 921(a)(5) of title 18, United States Code);
(2) a rifle (as defined in section 921(a)(7) of title 18, United States Code);
(3) a handgun (as defined in section 10 of Public
(c) Enforcement of Right-
(1) IN GENERAL- A person whose right under subsection (a) is violated in any manner
may bring an action in any United States district court against the United States,
any State, or any person for damages, injunctive relief, and such other relief
as the court deems appropriate.
(2) AUTHORITY TO AWARD
A REASONABLE ATTORNEY'S FEE- In an action brought under paragraph (1), the court,
in its discretion, may allow the prevailing plaintiff a reasonable attorney's
fee as part of the costs.
(3) STATUTE OF LIMITATIONS-
An action may not be brought under paragraph (1) after the 5-year period that
begins with the date the violation described in paragraph (1) is discovered.